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Int Urol Nephrol. 2009;41(1):93-9. doi: 10.1007/s11255-008-9453-5. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

Protective effects of immunophilin ligands on testicular torsion/detorsion damage in rats.

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  • 1Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



The purpose was to investigate the role of immunophilin ligands in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced germ cell apoptosis in the rat.


Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups with ten animals in each. In animals undergoing torsion/detorsion, right testes were rotated 720 degrees for 1 h. A baseline group was for basal normal values. The sham-operated group served as a control group. The TD group underwent torsion/detorsion surgery alone; the cyclosporine-A group (TD-CsA) received intravenous cyclosporine injection (5 mg/kg) at the time of detorsion, and the FK-506 group (TD-FK) received intravenous FK-506 (3.5 mg/kg) at the time of detorsion. For measurement of lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme activities, the right testes of five animals in each group were excised after 4-h reperfusion. Germ cell apoptosis indices were determined 24 h following detorsion in the right testes of the remaining five animals in each group.


Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the TD group were significantly higher compared to control and baseline groups. Moreover, testicular MDA values in TD-CsA and TD-FK groups were significantly lower than in TD. There were also significant decreases in catalase and superxide dismutase activities in the TD group compared to control and baseline groups. These values in TD-CsA and TD-FK groups were significantly higher than in TD. The mean germ cell apoptosis scores were significantly higher in TD animals compared to control and baseline groups; however, CsA and FK-506 treatment significantly reduced the apoptosis compared with the TD group.


We have shown that administration of immunophilin ligands in testicular torsion decreases ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) cellular damage. The results of biochemical studies suggest that reduction of oxidative stress along with attenuated neutrophil accumulation by immunophilin ligands may have a major role in their cytoprotective effects.

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